March 7, 2014
Rode Dakota Ridge a few weeks ago on my hard tail 29er, first time up there and emphasized my desire to upgrade to full squish. It was super challenging on what was a light, XC geometry bike. Really, head angle much too steep to comfortably descend many of the drops. However, as much as I walked it I had an intense desire to conquer this trail. It's a technicians dream, and can be downhill/enduro centric. Fast forward 2 weeks, was able to source a year old frame to build up a full suspension bike. This is a trail review, but I have to say, Dakota was so much more enjoyable on a bike that was easier to pedal through the tough sections. Wow, and active braking, didn't know what the felt like. I probably still walked a good portion of the trail, but did 100% better than my first time. If you are looking for a technical challenge, and are confident enough for some fairly steep rocky descents, then Dakota is for you Not a beginner trail, definitely advanced. It earns it's black diamond rating for sure. Rode it both directions last night because of previous snowfall, Red Rocks was not rideable. Going northbound on Dakota is quite a lot of hike-a-bike, but is fun as well. Again, not for the faint of heart. Enjoy!